Kirby Adams, managing director and CEO of Tata Steel Europe, will step down later this year and Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, currently chief operating officer at the group, will replace him.
Tata Steel said yesterday that Kirby Adams will hand over responsibility of Tata Steel Europe to Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler with effect from 1 October 2010, who will then become managing director and CEO.
Adams, the former chief executive of Australia's third-largest steel maker BlueScope Steel, had joined Tata Steel Europe, the holding company of Tata Steel's European operations, as CEO in January 2009 succeeding Philippe Varin. (See: Kirby Adams to succeed Philippe Varin as Corus CEO)
''Adams has decided to step down from his executive roles and return to Australia, having successfully initiated a restructuring of the company and restored profitability. He will remain available to Tata Steel in an advisory capacity.'' The steelmaker said in a statement.
Adams had joined Tata Steel Europe, when the global steel industry was reeling under the impact of global recession and Corus was losing approximately £100 million a month. Adams was forced to cut thousands of jobs, initiate divestments, asset restructuring and a company-wide efficiency review in order to weather the downturn.
Within four months of his joining, a consortium of four buyers reneged on a 10-year contract to buy 80 per cent of the slab steel production from Corus Teesside facility in the UK, forcing the steelmaker to announce in February 2010 a partial closure of the mill rendering around 1,600 workers jobless. (See: Consortium deal pull out may hit 2,000 jobs at Corus)